Epilogue

"If we get it together
It could last forever
If you got the time to try it
You know that it could be a riot."

Hurricane #1, "Step Into My World"

"So, basically, that's why they all came back covered in feathers two days ago," Maureen finishes her account of SGA4's latest adventure and she can't help join Maureen in her giggles. Major Moore is away on some mission or the other and they used the Major-less time to catch up a little. Since she has been back from her leave they really hadn't had any time to talk because something had always come up.

Of course she did talk a little about what happened to Evan with Maureen but they didn't have the time for some real talking. So she was glad to find her fellow Marine alone in her office, not really keen on working but hiding from the paperwork her new position as a team leader forces her to do. For three hours now they have both successfully escaped work by chatting about this and that.

They started with Maureen's proposal to her Major – she never thought there could be a proposal any less romantic than the way Evan proposed to her – worked their way through the nicer parts of her leave… and finally found the time to also talk about the not so nice parts. However, somehow she's glad they didn't dwell too long on that and instead went on to stuff a little funnier.

"Must have been a pain to clean the quarters after that." Maureen shrugs.

"No idea about the guys' quarters but I didn't let Tom in until he was completely feather free. I just hope he cleaned up the locker room after changing." Oh, she thinks she remembers something about that.

"Want to know a secret?" Eagerly, Maureen nods. "Judging from the shouting and swearing I heard from the guys' locker room that day… he actually had to be persuaded forcefully to do it." They both break down into another fit of giggles, throwing the ways the guys could have made Major Moore clean up the locker room in between the bouts of laughter.

"Aren't you supposed to be translating Wraith communiqués for Mr. Woolsey, Captain Reece?" Immediately, they stop laughing and look at the door. There, Evan is leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed, looking stern. Maureen clears her throat… and is she blushing?

"Yes, sir. Of course. Sorry, I was just…" He keeps up the stern façade a moment longer but then he takes pity on her and smiles a little amused.

"SGA4 just came back from their mission. I've got the feeling Major Moore might need some TLC in the infirmary." At that Maureen almost jumps up from her chair and she makes a mental notice to slap him on the head for that evil thing. "Don't worry, Captain, just some scratches. But you know how he can be." Make that two slaps. At least. Honestly, to frighten poor Maureen like that…

The Marine in question looks very much like she would like to give Evan a few slaps herself for that but in the end she just nods and pretty obviously forces herself to get up without hurry. Maybe she should ask Major Moore or Colonel Sheppard to do the same to Evan. Let's see how much he still likes to do that afterwards. "Yes, sir. I'd still like to… would you please excuse me, sir? Laura?"

She nods at Maureen and asks, "Shooting range tomorrow?"

"Sure. Gotta defend my Beretta score, after all." At the words 'Beretta score', Maureen throws Evan a look that could almost count as glare but he pretends he didn't see it and lets her walk past him. When she's left the room, he comes in and the door automatically shuts behind him. Show-off, she thinks, but quickly banishes that thought. Evan uses his ATA gene almost completely subconsciously, without any real agenda behind it.

He walks up to her and goes to give her a kiss. She'd love to enjoy it that he finally started to act more normal around her again but first she feels compelled to stand up for a fellow Marine. Crossing her arms, she says, "That was mean, Major."

Faking innocence, he raises his hands. "I have no idea what you mean."

"Oh yes, you do. Frightening Maureen just to get rid of her? Not nice." She pokes his chest with her index finger but he just catches her hand.

"I didn't. Want to get rid of her, I mean. Honestly… I just wanted to save the infirmary personnel from Tom's whining." Ahahaha. Yeah, sure. Tom's whining. One of the few things Thomas Moore and Evan Lorne actually have in common is their tendency to suffer in silence rather than bother everyone with complaining… unlike certain scientists.

"It was mean, period. You don't really expect me to let you do that to a fellow Marine, do you?" For a moment, he looks like he's actually inclined to take her up on this argument but then something else seems to win and he sighs a little resignedly, letting go of her.

"Okay, okay, it was mean. Happy?" All of a sudden she feels sympathy welling up. It's only now that she realizes how tired he looks and that there are still traces from last night. She also remembers now that he had another session with Obanashi today and how much he has come to hate those. He probably thinks she hasn't noticed it but every time he had to go there he had been even more withdrawn than usually and had tossed and turned even more at night.

She unfolds her arms and puts her palm against his chest, slightly rubbing it soothingly. "Yeah." But she can't resist adding, "Next time… you might consider simply asking her."

"Alright, alright." He still looks a little put out and she has the feeling that today's visit to Obanashi must have been extraordinarily trying. Usually, she would let it go since for some reason they silently agreed not to talk about their respective sessions but maybe… that had also been a mistake.

She gives him the kiss he came for and says, trying to sound as if this was an absolutely natural topic for them to talk about, "How did your session with Obanashi go?"

He shrugs, making an effort to appear unfazed. "Okay, I guess."

Okay, maybe she should just try talking about this another time, somewhere in the future when things have evened out… or maybe never. For now she decides to give him a way out of having to talk about it. "You've been a nice boy, haven't you?"

Smiling a little relieved, he takes it straight away. With a grin, he says, "I'm always a nice boy."

Reminiscent of last night she just replies with, "Debatable. Very debatable." It lets his grin widen and she's glad she didn't dwell more on it. For now she should just be thankful that last night seems to have been the breakthrough she had been hoping for. "Anyway, you really didn't come here just to tell Maureen that Major Moore wants someone to fuss over him, right?"

He shakes his head. "Mh, no. Actually, I came here because I have some news." She raises her eyebrows. Until now every time he bothered to go looking for her instead of simply radioing her to tell her about some news it had been something life-altering… or at least something positive. So she seriously hopes it's the same now. "Well… uh… brass says we can get married. And stay here."

It takes her a moment to realize what he just said but when it does… she practically throws herself at him with a squeal. A little flustered at first he needs a moment to react but he's fast enough to engulf her in his arms and steady them both against the force of her onslaught. He also responds pretty eagerly to the kiss she initiated. Well… for about as long as it takes both of them to remember that they are still in a public room.

He clears his throat and she's almost sure he was just about to check behind his back to see if someone had opened the office's door right in this moment. A little sheepishly, he says, "I take it you still want to marry me then?"

What kind of question is that? Did he really think… She can't help but giving him the slap to the back of his head after all. "Did I ever give you the impression I wouldn't?"

A little miffed and indignant, he rubs the back of his head. "You didn't have to illustrate your point that explicitly, thank you very much."

She rolls her eyes but leans in to him. "Let me kiss it all better?" He doesn't object but rather anticipates her path of action and meets her halfway. Still hungry for touching him – and being touched – she lets her hand wander down under his shirt and the feel of his skin is almost strong enough to make her abandon every caution and start to undress him right here and now. And from what she can feel… he's not far from that, either.

However, it wouldn't be Evan Lorne if he let it really go that far, so she isn't really surprised – but still disappointed – when he breaks the kiss and says, "I think we should probably continue this someplace else." At least his voice has this pleasant husky softness she missed so much. In fact, that's one of the very few reasons why she lets herself be so easily pursued to break this up. Well, that and the fact that they are in one of her friends' office and not even allowed to hold hands in such public surroundings.

"Yeah, probably." She wants to disentangle herself from his grip but it tightens just a little more.

"Laura… it won't be easy, probably for a very long time. I just…" So that's why he thought she wouldn't want to marry him. Because she wasn't willing or didn't feel up to dealing with everything that came with the snake in his head and which still might come in the future. For a moment, she's appalled and also astonished that he really underestimated her like this but then she remembers that she also thought that he would break off the engagement when he had tried to tell her about what the snake did to him.

She puts another light kiss to his lips. "It's not supposed to be easy, farm boy. And I'm a Marine. Remember our motto?"

He smiles, relieved. "Good point, Buttercup." Then he lets go off her and turns for the door… that unlocks. Wait… he hadn't locked the door when he came in… that must have happened when… She can just barely suppress an amused grin. Seems like he really uses his ATA gene subconsciously. "Come on, lets get home." Yeah… home. Home sounds really, really good… most of all with that soft voice still in her ear and that pleasant feeling of his skin still lingering.

She smiles up to him. "Yeah… home would be nice."


A/N: And another story done... I um... haven't chased you off, right? *bad case of author anxiety Because, see, this certainly isn't the last story in the PAS 'verse I have in store (pretty much in neat order, thanks to mac ;)). However, if you're starting to get bored of them... tell me, please? :S